It beggars belief that I am having to write this post but I have been truly exasperated over the last few weeks of soaring temperatures to see that some people still do not know how to look after their dogs in hot weather. I deal with a lot of stupidity in the world of customer service when I deal with companies who do not realise the consequences of their actions. However this is stupidity on another level- it costs lives!
Despite advice to the contrary, people are still out and about with their dogs in the middle of the day, dogs are still being left in cars while owners ‘pop in’ to do their shopping and being exercised in the heat of the day running the risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. So why do it? Answer: Selfishness, ignorance and/or just plain stupidity.
If you’re reading this then you’re probably someone who cares as passionately about dogs as I do and as such, you’re already aware of all the advice I am about to give, unlike those owners who are in need of clearer instructions as to how to take care of their dogs in this weather. What is more frustrating is that this is mostly common sense, seemingly another quality sadly lacking in today’s world.
So let’s make it really simple for those who still do not seem to get it!
Leave your dog in a car for any length of time in this heat. It is too hot!
Take your dog for a walk during the hottest times of the day. Walk in the evening or early morning instead. If the ground is too hot for you to walk in in bare feet then it is too hot for your dog.
Exercise your dog outside when it is hot. Stimulate them instead by doing some brain games instead such as practicing basic commands or dog mental agility tricks.
If you’re not sure about the above, take your shoes off, put a big coat on, go for a walk, play a bit of football and sit in your car for ten minutes. Then see if this makes a difference. Basically, if you wouldn’t do it yourself, don’t expect your dog to do it!
There are lots of ways in which you can help your dog stay cool in these high temperatures. I use the following for privilegedpup who being a black labradoodle, is slowly melting in this heat.
- Ensure there is a plentiful supply of cold water at all times and that you take water and a bowl with you on walks. You can buy a collapsible bowl and a matching carry bag from Responsible Owner, which you can also fit the water in to.
- Offer ice cubes to cool them down or prepare frozen treats for them with their favourite food. For example a Kong can be filled with peanut butter and frozen for use as a treat or try a cool bone, which you can fill with water and freeze for use on a hot day.
- Have your dog’s coat trimmed so that they are more comfortable in the heat. I’ve just had privilegedpup groomed to within an inch of his life to help keep him cool.
- A cool mat such as this one from Amazon can be useful if your pet takes to it, which privilegedpup is not keen to do for some reason. However it does work and it is cool so even if he is not keen to sit on it, I am.
- Finally, use a fan if possible to generate some airflow near to where your dog is resting in the house.
Privilegedpup and I are enjoying the sunshine but we will also be very glad to see some cooler temperatures return so that we can get back to some kind of normality. In the meantime, we will just try to keep as cool as we can and I will continue to stalk my local supermarket and town centre car parks to ensure that any poor dog that is left in a car in this weather, gets to see another day.
With so many seemingly clueless people still in this world, please ring 999 immediately if you see a dog in a car in this weather as the police can advise you on what action to take depending on the situation. Tell the police what you intend to do and why and before you break into the car, take photos and or videos of the dog in distress and contact details of any witnesses if possible.
With regards to those who still clearly require assistance as to how to look after their dogs properly in this hot weather, please do share this post to raise awareness, as even if we cannot infinitely fix stupid, we might be able to save a life!
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